Bloomington, IN October 12, 2011—Purdue University and Solar Systems of Indiana, partnered in the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.
Team Purdue’s design recorded a 2nd-place finish overall, with a perfect score in Energy Balance. Their entry, called INhome, was described by one observer as “a refreshingly pragmatic and affordable energy marvel.”
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
“In preparation for the 2011 Solar Decathlon, Team Purdue approached Solar Systems of Indiana, seeking an industry expert to lend design and installation support of solar panels for its solar INhome entry,” said Solar Systems of Indiana Vice-President Danielle Urschel.
“You’ll be interested to know that the PV system was one of the keys to our successful finish,” said Bill Hutzel of Purdue’s Engineering Department. “The weather was overcast during the entire competition and our solar panels gave us a distinct advantage. Many of the contending teams did not produce enough solar electricity to complete the contest, even though they had large arrays, microinverters, and spent more money than we did. I think it was a combination of the high efficiency modules, proper mounting angles, and quality balance of system components.”
Solar Systems of Indiana assisted the Purdue team with the design, integration and installation of a 8.68KW PV array. The 36 module array included 24 high efficiency modules on the south roof and a 12 module tilt up array on the northside of the structure.
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon helps the visiting public learn about the benefits of applying sustainable, energy efficient and cost-saving features to their own homes. This year, twenty teams of university students competed in 10 contests, including architecture, engineering, energy balance and market appeal. Teams included American universities (Ohio State University, Middlebury College, CCNY); university consortiums (such as one formed by The Southern California Institute of Architecture and the California Institute of Technology); and a number of international universities, including China’s Tongji University, New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington, and Ghent University of Belgium.
The competition commenced with an opening ceremony on September 22 in the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., and closed with the final awards ceremony on the afternoon of October 1. Throughout the competition, the public could tour the houses for free. The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002, and competitions now take place every other year.
About Solar Systems of Indiana, Inc.
Based in Bloomington, IN. Solar Systems of Indiana, Inc. is a growing design/build solar firm serving Indiana and the surrounding states. The company has custom designed and installed solar energy systems for its commercial, institutional, government, and residential customers across the Midwest. Solar Systems of Indiana is focused on making it easier for customers to go solar.